Exploring job responsibilities and requirements of US textile and apparel sourcing personnel

Amanda J. Muhammad (Textile and Apparel Management, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri, USA)
Jung E. Ha‐Brookshire (Textile and Apparel Management, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri, USA)

Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management

ISSN: 1361-2026

Publication date: 1 March 2011

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to gain a deeper understanding of the job responsibilities and requirements of textile and apparel (T&A) sourcing personnel from the employers' perspective, based on Kunz's behavioral theory of apparel firms and US Department of Labor's classification principles.

Design/methodology/approach

“Job wanted” texts published by Women's Wear Daily, a prominent daily trade newspaper in the US textile and apparel industry were collected. Content analysis was performed to examine three research question categories: daily duties of sourcing personnel, required skills for sourcing personnel, and relevant experiences sought for sourcing personnel.

Findings

Sourcing personnel are heavily involved in the firm's management of vendor relations, product development, production, and inter‐departmental collaborations. Desired sourcing personnel must be organized with multitasking abilities, knowledge of various computer applications, and exceptional communication skills. On‐the‐job experiences, industry knowledge, and bilingual abilities were highly sought for sourcing personnel with relatively little focus on formal education.

Research limitations/implications

The study data source was limited to one US‐based trade publication from 2007 to 2008 and, thus, any extrapolation of the results must be done with a caution.

Practical implications

The study results help employers define clear position descriptions, current and future sourcing personnel effectively develop career path plans, and educators provide timely and relevant sourcing curriculum. Ultimately, the study results may help students be better prepared for a sourcing job market.

Originality/value

The paper provides practical, in‐depth information of sourcing personnel's daily duties, required skills, and desired experiences from the employer's perspective, which has not been available in the literature to date.

Keywords

Citation

Muhammad, A. and Ha‐Brookshire, J. (2011), "Exploring job responsibilities and requirements of US textile and apparel sourcing personnel", Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, Vol. 15 No. 1, pp. 41-57. https://doi.org/10.1108/13612021111112331

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Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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